Zoe Ministries Founder Prophet Elvis Mbonye and his enthusiastic disciple Pastor Joseph Kabuleta of Watchman Ministries are steadily becoming key voices criticizing President Yoweri Museveni in the church especially since the head of state made peace with top clerics such as critical Kampala Catholic Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga following the controversial 2017 debate.
After meeting Museveni sometime in 2018 at State House Nakasero in Kampala, Dr Lwanga criticised the media for working so hard to soil his relationship with President Yoweri Museveni by reporting on his alleged criticism of the manner in which the age limit removal process was handled. However, it is on record that Archbishop Lwanga criticised the whole process in the entire Christmas season in his sermons at Lubaga Cathedral. During one of these, Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was booed at the same place of worship. Other critical clerics like Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Rwenzori and Dan Zoreka of Kinkizi have since gone relatively silent.
In their place seems to be emerging a new crop of vocal Pentecostal clerics whose desire to be heard has been visibly fueled by their being sidelined by the President, especially in key national events.
Mbonye and Kabuleta have all previously criticised a move by Pastor Joseph Sserwadda of Victory Church Ndeeba, who leads an association of bornagain churches, for reportedly trying to work behind the scenes to compel pastors to have some minimum formal training and to be placed under more state regulation, among other interventions.
In his recent letter to religious leaders, Mbonye accused fellow pastors of appearing to be naive and silent on matters regarding the Covid19 pandemic which he suspects is being used to promote a wicked agenda.
“The Holy Spirit tells us in the book of revelations that “the god of this world” is setting up a system, an agenda, where no one will be able to buy or sell unless such one has “the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name,” noted Mbonye.
“Have we thought about the different stages in which the world is moving towards the implementation of this ultimatum on the ability to buy and sell? Do we know where we presently find ourselves on that roadmap? Or shall we find that we are in partnership or contributing to this final apocalyptic implementation of the mark of the beast?”
He has also claimed there is a mafia-like gang working hard to fail him.
“For some reason they are so paranoid that they will twist everything. They are so desperate to portray an image of me that is totally false; they are so scared of the image of who I really am that it will come out and bear negative on them. So they will try by all means, they will use newspapers and social media,” Mbonye said in a recent interview.
“That group thinks it can manipulate systems around the nation to try and attack Zoe Fellowship, stifle its work; you don’t know the hostility. Those things you see on social media, blogs are just petty: I’m talking about things we are actually dealing with that come from places and people that would blow your mind if you try to investigate why there is this deliberate attempt to taint my image.”
But although religious leaders may keep quiet about Mbonye’s unease with them or maybe mildly respond to him on pulpits or their media stations, his most recent open letter to political leaders might once again put him on a collision course with the State. From quoting scriptures spelling doom for Museveni if he delays to re-open churches, Mbonye seems to be courting trouble with the Museveni government which views him from the lens, allegedly provided by some big pastors, of a false prophet. His warning as relayed in some of the following stinging statements may cause discomfort at Nakasero and Entebbe.
“Guard against the temptation of playing God like other States have seemingly done, because if you do, you can count on us to resist you with our very life… if it looks like tyranny, talks like tyranny and walks like tyranny it is not constitutional democracy. This self deluded arrogance which goes like this: “my version of Christianity is right, and yours is wrong, and because you are wrong, your freedom of worship doesn’t need to be taken into account”, should have no place in a civilised society,” wrote Mbonye.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth the rule, the people moan”. Uganda will turn out to be a reflection of either the righteous being in authority, in which the people rejoice, or the wicked, bearing the rule in which case the people moan. The events of recent months will help to illuminate your stand in matters concerning God’s agenda and or otherwise the enemy’s global agenda. Please, don’t give us reason to suspiciously watch you.”
It should be remembered that in recent days, Mbonye’s shoe-kissing disciple Kabuleta has also been attacking First Son and Presidential Advisor Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba saying it is only fools who can believe he is capable of succeeding his father as President.
Both Mbonye and Kabuleta have previously got into trouble with the State. Mbonye recorded a statement with police after a screaming New Vision headline that claimed he had decampaigned a mass rubella-measles immunisation programme while Kabuleta was charged with cyber harassment and offensive communication and detained for claiming that First Son Muhoozi was dull and lifeless and could not become president.
Therefore, the duo is aware of the dangerous path they are taking but perhaps think it is worth risking their lives for what they believe. From the Museveni way of doing things, it will not be surprising if the two are summoned by security agencies (or even arrested), invited to meet the big man or ignored to keep ranting until the cows come home.
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